Over Memorial Day Weekend we decided to drive over to Palatka for the annual Blue Crab Festival. Here we found arts and crafts, camel rides for $5.00, helicopter rides for $10.00, and live music.
Surprisingly we only saw one booth advertising blue crabs for sale – whole and in the shell. I had been looking forward to trying out a blue crab dish of some type, but wasn’t quite ready to crack one open myself.
Instead we sought out one of the other food vendors, many of which were selling crab cakes (no doubt made out of some other type of crab). For $10 we got a gigantic crab cake covered with remoulade sauce, french fries and vegetables (zucchini, onion and carrots). Excellent choice!
Wandering around in the heat of the late afternoon, we stopped to watch the two camels that had been geared up for riders. One of the camels, which we soon learned was named JoJo after his trainer scolded him for being a troublemaker, was obviously not thrilled to be there. Regardless, whenever it was his turn to carry a tiny child around in a circle, he did it with calmness and grace.
All afternoon we kept hearing the helicopter circle above us. Finally we decided to head over to the landing area and see what was going on. We watched again and again as three people were strapped in, the helicopter lifted off, circled once, then landed. As those three passengers unbuckled and exited the craft, three more were standing right there, ready to take their place.
Soon it was time to head back over to the stage to await the first of two tribute bands.
The first was a Jimi Hendrix tribute, which turned out to be the better of the two. The second one, a Led Zeppelin tribute, was by a band (Led Hed) with good musicians but incredibly weak vocals. The last band of the night, Motor City Josh, took the stage around 10:30 pm but we quickly grew bored and left.
The music may have been a disappointment, but the day was not a total loss. Palatka obviously puts a lot into this festival every year, and it shows.